Saturday, May 12, 2012

Supercar Pt 1 - Johnny Lightning Black & White TV Series Edition7

Before we get started today on Sci-Fi and Fantasy Saturday I'd like to post a little something I whipped up last week. Using a photo of the Supermoon (a full moon which occurs when it is nearest the Earth in its orbit) which occurred last Saturday night, and a pic of the Pyro X-100 Space Scout I cobbled together this neat pic. Enjoy!


Series Background

Supercar was the brain child of Gerry Anderson, the whiz of Supermarionation. Anderson, the co-founder of A.P. Films, had three successful marionation series prior to Supercar. With backing from Lew Grade - who would later back a somewhat successful boy band called 'The Beatles' :-) - Gerry Anderson and his crew launched this new sci-fi series in 1960 and it became an international hit running for 26 episodes of 25 minutes each from 1960 to 1961. The series, filmed in black and white, was set in the Nevada desert at a place called Black Rock. The star of the show of course was the 30' (9.144m) long - actually 7' (2.13m) long model in real life - Supercar, primarily a flying machine which when called upon could also be a submarine. The vehicle was co-invented by Professor Bopkiss and Doctor Beaker and flown by pilot extraordinaire Mike Mercury. At their side is little Bobby Gibson and Mitch the monkey.

Memories and Impressions

Supercar is the one Gerry Anderson show I remember the most growing up. I have faint recollections of Stingray and a little bit of Thunderbirds. Later on he would produce live action sci-fi shows which featured awesome model work, like UFO and Space 1999 which I remember fairly well. A few years back I bought the boxed set of Supercar DVDs and watched every episode within a several week period, coming away with some very distinct memories colored of course by an adults viewpoint. Overall I liked the series and it was a lot of fun to re-engage old memories. But when you try to watch an entire series like this in a somewhat marathon fashion there are impressions that just hit you. You can't help it but they're there. First, the credits. Some people don't realize you can fast-forward a DVD and whiz through the credits. If you don't, I can almost gaurantee you'll be seeing them in your sleep because of the constant repititions. Secondly, the Supercar start-up sequence. A good deal of time is taken up during each show just watching Supercar start up and leave the hangar. 'Fast Fwd' comes in handy here too. Third, Mitch the monkey. About halfway through watching the series I was ready to choke the little booger!!! I s'pose watching him just once a week on a Saturday morning as a kid was okay but his constant yammering and the script writer's attempts at using him for comic relief began to wear me down! Arrrrrggh!!!! But that being said, the basic wrting,  the story telling was fun. The gadgets, the production art, was terrific and the charcters were fun. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience.

The Toy

I got this toy as part of a set not too long before starting Toys & Stuff back in 2010. The set itself was kind of odd. There was a generically, but cool looking, decorated box. The box contained a Supercar comic book by Carlton and three different 1/64 scale versions of the car by Johnny Lightning:

- Johnny Lightning Black & White TV Series Edition
- Johnny Lightning Supercar Classic
- Johnny Lightning Supercar Condor

The odd part about this set was the quantities of Supercar toys. There were six TV Series Editions, seven Classic, and seven Condor! To me it looked like an apparent attempto to just unload stock. But that's okay becuase I gave away the extras to fellow fans and co-workers with kids. Today we're going to look at the Black & White TV Series Edition. Enjoy!